Tourist boom as Americans flock to Spain

George Mills
George Mills - [email protected]
Tourist boom as Americans flock to Spain
Barcelona's Park Güell is one of Spain's most popular tourist attractions. Photo: Bevis Chin

Tourism continues to be a bright spot for Spain's economy with Easter bringing plenty of visitors to the country. The number of American tourists was up by more than a third.


Overall tourism numbers in Spain were up 7.9 percent year on year in March 2013, the Spanish government's tourism research agency Frontur reported on Tuesday.

The agency also said the number of tourists to Spain was up 2.3 percent for the whole first quarter of the year.

A total of 9.4 million tourists visited Spain from January through to March, Frontur said.

This means tourism numbers are on the up again. After a year-on-year dip in January — and a February that saw the same numbers as in 2012 — March figures were much stronger. 

Visitors from the UK made up just under one in every five of all arrivals to Spain in March (19.9 percent) while Germans comprised 11.9 percent of total visitor numbers.

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The number of French arrivals was also up — by 16 percent.

Scandinavians are also coming to Spain in ever increasing numbers, with visitor numbers from the region up 13.8 percent year on year.

Arrivals from the United States are the biggest gainers though: March 2013 saw numbers up 35.7 percent from March 2012 to just over 100,000.

In terms of destinations, the Canary Islands topped the list with just under 1.4 million visitors (up 4.2 percent) in March. 

Visitor numbers to the Balearic Islands were up nearly 17 percent on March 2012 to 327,079.

All Spanish regions saw more tourists in the March 2013 that on the same period a year earlier, Frontur reported.

Catalonia and Madrid, however, both registered year-on-year drops in total numbers.


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